They are beautiful, intelligent and vocal, but are Huskies good service dogs?
While their wolf-like appearance and stunning looks may attract a lot of people to the breed, the truth about Huskies is that they don’t make great service dogs because they are:
- Resistant to training
- Lacking attention
Are Huskies Good Service Dogs? Deep Dive into the Question
Unfortunately, huskies really don’t make great service dogs. First of all, it takes a certain kind of temperament and breed to be a service dog. They should be highly responsive and easily trainable, while also being focused on their owner with an easy going temperament, and be non-reactive to other humans and animals in a distracting setting. Even though they are high energy and loyal dogs, because huskies do not score well in the trainability department and have a low desire to please they are usually not cut out for the job of service dog.
While this is disappointing for some people looking to make their husky a service dog, there are still other ways that you can give your beloved blue-eyed pooch a job that benefits the both of you.
What Is A Service Dog?
A true service dog is a canine that is trained with a specific purpose of aiding its owner with daily tasks. Other forms of service dog jobs are alerting the owner of their blood sugar levels or telling them that a seizure may be coming. Simply providing comfort or companionship does not actually define a service dog.
If you are looking for a dog that you can take places that is just meant for companionship or support, then looking into having your husky certified as an emotional support animal may be the best option for both of you.
Why Don’t Huskies Make Good Service Dogs?
As mentioned before, huskies are difficult to train, which is one of the main reasons why they don’t fit the bill for a service dog. If you think about it, they were bred originally to run tirelessly with a team of dogs, unlike other breeds, like the German Shepherd or the Border Collie, which were trained to work alongside humans closely as a job. Huskies just don’t have that desire to work based on constant commands, and prefer to live a more independent lifestyle.
Their stubborn temperament really affects their ability to be service dogs, but their curiosity and easily distracted nature will get in the way as well. It is extremely difficult to keep a husky’s attention on you when they are in strange environments and will not likely listen to any commands if they become over-stimulated.
Focus is a large factor in why huskies don’t make great service dogs. They have a short attention span and are easily distracted in busy environments. Also, a service dog would need to resist the temptation to greet strangers and chase other small animals like little dogs or cats.
Plus you would need to trust that your dog wouldn’t run away if you dropped their leash. Huskies have difficulties and struggle with all of these necessary tasks.
One of the biggest no-no’s a service dog in training could do is pull on their leash. And huskies were literally bred to wear harnesses and pull people and things around on a sled. I mean, come on! It’s in the husky’s nature to pull on the leash.
Unfortunately, if they are training to be a service dog, they can NEVER do that. They could get someone hurt if they did, which is why it could immediately disqualify them during their test.
It is also not in a husky’s nature to NOT pull on a leash, which is why trying to train and force a husky to perform as a service dog is probably a futile and very frustrating task for both of you. It would probably be best to keep the husky as a companion and find a more fitting breed to work as a service dog.
Are Huskies Good Personal Protection Dogs?
Are huskies good service dogs? Maybe not. But many people also wonder if huskies make decent guard dogs. Well, because of the same issues that prevent them from being a service dog, they are also not great protection or guard dogs either.
Their lack of trainability and focus really prevents them from excelling in the subject.
It also doesn’t help that huskies are quite friendly and are not generally suspicious of strangers. As a matter of fact, your husky would probably let a burglar right in before they would do something about it. Guard dogs also do best if they are able to roam the property, checking it for any unwanted activity, people or animals, but a husky would just go off into the sunset if you let him.
They are super independent and tend to follow their noses, letting their curiosity get the best of them, meaning that they won’t be paying any attention to what’s going on around them.
Huskies Make A Much Better Watch Dog!
Are huskies good service dogs? No, but that oh so wonderful and loud voice box of theirs comes in handy sometimes! While they may not meet the criteria to be service or guard dogs, huskies make excellent watch dogs because they are always curious and alert, looking out for the next thing to yell or bark at.
They will be the first ones to let you know when someone is coming or something is up by letting out their signature husky scream.
Can Huskies Be Good Therapy Dogs?
While the husky breed fails as a service or guard dog, they do on the other hand, make excellent emotional support or therapy dogs. They are friendly, loving and loyal and really enjoy attention from anyone willing to be nice to them. A husky knows exactly whenever their owner is feeling anxious and upset, coming to the rescue with support and kisses to let them know they are not alone.
Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Vs Service Dog
There is a difference between the two, such as how much training goes into the certification and what the animal’s job is for the owner. Many different types of animals can become ESA’s, from birds to rabbits to reptiles. They do not need to be trained to do any specific task and the requirements are much less strict and intense for ESA qualifications.
Because huskies are so apt to understanding their owners feelings, are friendly and loyal, they are much more fitted to being emotional support dogs than service canines. And this is ok! Not all breeds are cut out for the job, honestly most of them aren’t, so huskies are certainly not strange for not passing the test.
Therapy Huskies: Helping People Of All Ages By Being A Friend
Huskies are a friendly, funny and intelligent breed. They live their lives on their own terms but are always there to be a companion to their humans. Huskies make excellent ESA dogs because of their sweet nature and drive to be with people, so they also make great therapy dogs.
People of all ages can benefit from the friendship of a husky, they are sometimes brought into hospitals and nursing homes to spend some time with those who are being taken care of or treated for an illness. Too bad for all the shedding though.
Thankfully, giving someone some much needed attention and love doesn’t require much training other than just being polite. So the husky can thrive in this environment, not having to listen to too many commands, just getting pets and scratches.
Since the husky doesn’t really know a stranger, they make fabulous therapy dogs. They can get along with almost anyone and truly crave that attention and companionship.
Are Huskies Good Service Dogs? Maybe They Are Better For Emotional Support
So, are huskies good service dogs? While the answer to that question is largely a NO, it doesn’t mean that they don’t still make wonderful and loyal companions. Their independent and funny nature may be undesirable for that particular job, but it can be applied in other ways of life.
Using them as an emotional support animal or just a friend to snuggle with on the couch, they will always be there for their beloved human, as you are for them.